Happy New Year!
As 2022 begins, I am reminded of the lesson that we have all collectively learned over the last few years that is to prioritize our mental, spiritual, and physical health. After a busy holiday schedule, it is important to check in with oneself, recenter, and start the new year with clarity and excitement for what is yet to come. A common way that most of us do this is to make a resolution that focuses on the intentions we would like to set in the hope of realizing our goals. One of my resolutions is to stabilize my work-life balance by taking the time to expand my horizons and begin traveling again when we’re able to, of course.
I have always loved to explore new places. Some vacations are intended to be relaxing, while others are an adventure from beginning to end. Whether you are interested in peaceful rejuvenation or touring a new destination, the memories made are simply from enjoying the experience and appreciating the previously unknown.
When I think of a vacation, I think of water. Depending on the time of the year that I am traveling I may prefer to spend it reading beside a quiet pond, or kayaking across a vast lake, or merely looking forward to witnessing a sunset over the immense ocean. I typically spend the holidays in the Northeast, which means once January begins, winter is in full effect. As much as I enjoy getting cozy by the fire on a chilly evening, I am looking forward to a vacation spent in the warm sunshine. As I begin dreaming of my next vacation, I wanted to share with you my top 3 favorite warm-weather destinations to escape the cold this winter:
1. Costa Rica
A philosophy and phrase in Costa Rica is “Pura Vida” which translates to “Simple Life” or “Pure Life,” and it so accurately describes the feeling of visiting this country. The Pura Vida as a way of life is probably why Costa Rica is one of the happiest places in the world. A place with no worries is exactly where one wants to be while on vacation.
Costa Rica has a year-round warm tropical climate, which means they have two seasons: dry and wet. However, because there is such a difference in climate between the Pacific coast and the Caribbean coast, it depends on what side of the country you’re more interested in exploring. Generally, temperatures from December through April are the most stable with a range from 80-90 degrees during the day and low 70s at night.
The Pura Vida lifestyle is eminent as you meet the locals in the colorful towns along the coast. During the day, you can choose your own adventure: snorkeling in the vibrant coral reefs, learning how to surf at one of their wide and vast beaches, or hiking through the dense jungle in search of unique flora and fauna found only in the rainforest.
The perfect ending to a fun-filled day spent in one of the most extraordinary places is not complete without appreciating the intense colors that sweep across the sky as the sun begins to set. Horseback riding is one of my favorite activities no matter where I am in the world but riding along the shore as we witnessed an epic sunset was a truly magical experience.
A mysterious and alluring paradise, Cuba is one of the most exciting travel destinations on Earth. Although there are still some restrictions in place, if you have the opportunity to visit Cuba, I can assure you that it is one of the most beautiful countries to explore because it has a bit of everything.
The weather in Cuba is warm, sunny, and comfortable. Peak travel to Cuba is from December until mid-March, which makes for an ideal escape from the cold.
As soon as you land in Havana it is impossible not to be captivated by the energy in their capital city. It is as if you are transported back in time when walking through the Old City. The cobblestone streets are lined with vintage cars, and acoustic street performances echo against the brightly colored buildings, making you feel as if you’re the main character in a romantic movie.
Outside of the city, you can get a sense of the wild landscape that shapes the largest island in the Caribbean. With world UNESCO heritage sites like the Viñales Valley and the Alejandro do Humboldt National Park, one quickly realizes how magical and diverse Cuba can be. Whether you are exploring through the countryside or shopping for art in the many boutique galleries, the people are so friendly and gregarious. Plus, dancing in the street is highly encouraged!
3. St. Lucia
Saint Lucia is a honeymoon destination for good reason. This volcanic island has the highest peaks in the Caribbean archipelago. With stunning typography, and the vibrant mix of culture and tradition, visiting Saint Lucia defines what a vacation should be. If you are interested in basking in the sun or exploring through a blanket of impressive rainforest, this lush mountainous dreamscape is the place.
The closer to the equator you go, the more tropical you will feel. From December to April is typically dry with mild temperatures in the mid-to-low 80s. However, here is a list of fun island events and celebrations throughout the year that would make your trip extra special.
When I visited Saint Lucia several years back, I was taken by the unique geography, golden beaches, the natural wonders such as the arch in Marigot Bay, and of course the mighty Pitons. If you are looking for a peaceful sanctuary to immerse yourself in nature, this island has it all.
I highly recommend taking a tour down Old Victoria Road, which has breathtaking views of banana fields and rural landscape. From there you can drive through villages and immerse yourself in the rich culture of their local markets. Every moment spent in Saint Lucia can be a choice between going on an adventure or having the most relaxing day of your life.
With all this natural beauty that Mother Earth has offered to us, I hope that this list has inspired you to dream of your next visit to paradise.
“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Thanks for reading,